Posted by: jackslife | May 8, 2009

My Grandparent’s Place

This was my grandparent’s place
from the old white house over by those trees
to the barbed wire fence with the mesquite posts
the posts made of mesquite that grew on this place
My grandfather built that fence alone
with occasional help from a boy in town,
but mostly alone; “good help is hard to find”
“easier to just do it yourself”

Over by the house is the garden
That garden used to grow all kinds of food
tubers and melons, fruits and veggies
all sprang up from this ground, cared for so well
Grown, harvested, eaten, preserved
My grandparents did it all on this place
Over there are the bee hives
and on the other side the compost heap

That pasture is where the goats grazed
rotating from one section to another
and across the fence are my great uncle’s cows
ruminating on grass, alfalfa and clover
drinking from the tank in the center
on grass, alfalfa and clover, mostly they feed
some years it’s hard; most years it’s hard
but it was my grandparent’s place

My grandmother grew up in that house
and her daddy farmed the land beside it
He farmed that land till he went blind
and he lived in that house till he died
My grandmother taught school down the road
and my dad helped build their new house
but he went away to school
and now he works in the city, where the jobs are

I grew up in the city
but I remember this place, walking that path
all the way around, up that brick wall
and sitting on that front porch
Sometimes chasing lizards and horny toads
and picking blue bonnets and black eyed Susans
eating fried chicken and corn bread
at the little white church pot-luck dinners

I hope you take care of it
This was my grandparent’s place

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Responses

  1. Oh wow, Love. This is truly lovely. You know I’m so pleased you are writing poetry again.

  2. Your poem takes me back to my own grandparents farm near La Vernia, Texas. I often wonder if it is being taken care of. I especially miss the blackberries and the tire swing. Thanks, Ben!

    • I’m glad that you liked it. Grandparent’s farms do make for wonderful memories.

  3. Very nice Ben. My favorite line is “some years it’s hard; most years it’s hard.”

    I’m not sure, but I think this might be a cowboy poem. 🙂

    Reminds me of the Texas poet, Carlos Ashley.

    • Thanks. I would be happy to have this be called a cowboy poem. I felt overwhelmed by a sense of place and “Texasness” when I wrote it. 🙂


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